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Chanhassen approves Paisley Park museum; tours resume Friday

The city found no traffic or safety problems during the temporary tours

Chanhassen's hesitation about turning Prince's former home and studio into a museum has evaporated into a purple cloud – or maybe it's paisley.

At any rate, the city council voted unanimously Monday evening to rezone the property so that the estate of the late superstar can operate it as a tourist attraction.

A couple of times earlier this fall the council delayed approval of the change, giving Paisley Park only temporary permission to give tours on certain dates. That gave the city a chance to size up whether the extra visitors would cause traffic or safety problems.

But a report from Chanhassen's planning commission said there had been no problems with parking, traffic, or public safety and recommended the city approve the zoning change.

What's more, business people showed up Monday to tell the council the additional traffic was good for the local economy.

According to the Chanhassen Villager, a leader of the business group Buy Chanhassen told the council before Monday's vote: "We think more customers and clients is nothing but beneficial to our community.”

Tours resuming, traffic tweaks

Within a couple of hours of the council's 5-0 vote, Paisley Park had updated its website and was selling tickets for tours that will resume on Friday.

At least for now, tours will be offered only Thursday through Sunday. Tickets for the rest of this year are on sale now – Paisley Park says it expects to start selling 2017 tours by mid-November.

A self-guided tour that lasts about 70 minutes costs $38.50 (plus fees), while a VIP guided tour is available for $100.

Bremer Trust, which is managing Prince's estate, hired the same company that runs Elvis Presley's Graceland to operate the tours of Paisley Park.

The number of visitors allowed into the complex at a given time is capped. The Chanhassen Planning Commission says during the tours earlier this month there were about 200 visitors per hour and just over 2,000 per day. They said the parking lot, which has 120 spaces, seems to be sufficient but suggested that should be monitored.

The Villager reports the city plans some traffic changes (adding a median and closing part of one street) to prevent left turns into Paisley Park and to discourage pedestrians from crossing in front of traffic. Buses from Southwest Transit also serve the area.

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